KAMP-FM (97.1 FM, "97.1 AMP") is a commercial radio station in Los Angeles, California, United States. The station is owned by Entercom and airs a top 40 (CHR) radio format. The station has studios at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Hauser Boulevard in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles, and the transmitter on Mount Wilson.
KAMP-FM broadcasts in the HD Radio format. The KAMP-HD2 subchannel carries "Channel Q", an LGBTQ-oriented talk/EDM format from Radio.com. KAMP-HD3 airs a non-stop dance mixshow format billed as "Fire Lane".
KAMP is one of two top 40 stations in the Los Angeles area, the other being KIIS-FM (102.7 FM) which is owned by IHeart Media
Early yearsIn 1954, the station signed on as KFMU and operated under those call letters during the 1950s and early mid-1960s. It was originally licensed to the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale and was owned by Nicolas M. Brazy. KFMU aired an easy listening format known as "Good Music". The station was a subsidiary of Metropolitan Theatres Corp., which by 1959 was program testing KFMW in San Bernardino and held a permit for a KFMX in San Diego, as well as two other stations.
In the late 1960s, KFMU was purchased by Storer Broadcasting and became home to KGBS-FM, as a sister station to KGBS (1020 AM). The two stations carried a country music format. Since its AM station was a daytimer, only authorized to be on the air during daylight hours, the FM station allowed the format to be heard around the clock, for those who had FM radios. In the early 1970s, the station experimented with rock and roll and pop music formats before switching to a soft country format in 1973, when it adopted the name "Gentle Country". In 1976, KGBS-FM continued with its country music format while its AM sister station switched to top 40. On August 28, 1978, the FM station changed its call letters to KHTZ while continuing with its country music format.
On July 31, 1979, Storer, after having sold the AM radio station which was now known as KTNQ (Ten-Q), moved its top-40 format to 97.1 FM and began broadcasting as KHTZ ("K-Hits"). For a few hours, the two stations simulcast the signal until KTNQ switched to Spanish-language programming at noon. Within a few weeks, the station evolved into a more adult contemporary station. On November 27, 1985, the station changed its call letters to KBZT and was known as "K-Best 97".
Classic rockOn September 26, 1986 at 3 p.m., the station was renamed KLSX and flipped to a classic rock format. The call letters KLSX were chosen to sound like the word "classics".
To demonstrate the vastness of the station's on-air library, KLSX advertised "no-repeat workdays", not playing any song more than once per day. Each day, the station played one song twice as part of a contest; listeners could win a prize for being the destination caller and identify correctly the intentionally repeated track. Additionally, KLSX hosted an annual "A—Z" event where the entire library was played in alphabetical order by artist during weekday hours, a playlist that ran about 100 hours. Whenever the station played "Southern Man" by Neil Young, it was always followed by Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama".
In 1988, the long-running Beatles show Breakfast with the Beatles with host Deirdre O'Donoghue moved to KLSX from KNX-FM, a show which she began doing on KMET in 1983. After she died in 2001, the show was taken over by Chris Carter. On September 3, 2006, the station broadcast the last airing of Breakfast with the Beatles, which was then replaced by infomercials, drawing some local protest. Then-host Carter has stated that the departure of Howard Stern can be attributed to why the program was dropped. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Yoko Ono have all called into the program. In late November 2006, local classic rock KLOS picked up the show.
On July 21, 1991, the station began to air the syndicated Howard Stern Show, and took on the slogan "Howard Stern all morning, classic rock all day".
Hot talk era
On July 31, 1995, KLSX changed to a hot talk format on weekdays and went by the moniker "Real Radio 97.1", and had hosts such as Susan Olsen and Ken Ober, Scott Ferrall, Riki Rachtman, Kato Kaelin, Mother Love, Carlos Oscar, Voxx, and the Regular Guys (Larry Wachs and Eric von Haessler). Howard Stern was critical of this format change and referred to it as "Hindenburg Radio". In 1996, the station dropped the "Real Radio" name and became known as "The FM Talk Station", hiring new hosts; the following year, the station began carrying the syndicated Tom Leykis Show, becoming its flagship station. On April 1, 2002, KLSX temporarily brought back Kaelin and the "Real Radio" slogans and jingles as part of an April Fools' Day joke.
KLSX was owned by Greater Media until 1997, when Greater Media swapped KLSX and sister station KRLA for three stations: WMMR in Philadelphia and WBOS and WOAZ in Boston. The deal enabled Greater Media to operate larger clusters in these two markets while exiting Los Angeles. The swap led KLSX into the ownership of CBS Radio, where it joined radio stations KTWV and KCBS-FM.
From 1995 until its acquisition by CBS in 1997, KLSX played alternative music on weekends. Instead of competing with its now-sister station, established modern rock outlet KROQ-FM, it was asked to switch to triple-A, a blend of album rock and alternative music that appealed to a 35-and-up age demographic). That format continued on weekends until 1999, when the talk format was expanded to weekends, leaving Sunday morning's Breakfast with the Beatles as the only program that played music. During that era and prior to being sold, KLSX boasted the only late-night talk shows in Los Angeles featuring women as hosts: Dr. X and subsequently a short-run of Shrink Rap. KLSX was also the local home of the syndicated novelty music program Dr. Demento.
KLSX was the Los Angeles-area radio home of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. Previously, the station aired games from the Jones Radio Network's Sports USA service and NFL on Westwood One Sports. In 2001, it carried the Los Angeles Xtreme of the XFL. KLSX has also aired a sports year-in-review show from Westwood One.
A number of changes came to KLSX in 2005. On October 25, it was announced that Adam Carolla would take over as the station's morning show host in January 2006 due to Howard Stern's departure to satellite radio. On that same day, the station also became known on-air as "97.1 Free FM"—so-called to highlight that its stations broadcast free-to-air, funded by commercials, whereas satellite radio requires a subscription fee. In addition to KLSX, CBS Radio introduced its Free FM branding on KSCF in San Diego, KIFR in San Francisco, and other hot talk-formatted outlets. Those three California stations carried The Tom Leykis Show and The John and Jeff Show. Locally, Tim Conway Jr. and comedy writer Doug Steckler co-hosted the evening show (The Conway and Steckler Show) until June 2005, when Steckler's contract was not renewed. Funnyman/impressionist Brian Whitman was brought in as Steckler's replacement, and the show was renamed The Conway and Whitman Show. The Frosty, Heidi, and Frank Show was picked up and, until January 2007, was syndicated to KSCF.
In 2007, KLSX added Danny Bonaduce to The Adam Carolla Show (replacing sportscaster Dave Dameshek). In 2008, he was given his own (local) one-hour show following Frosty, Heidi & Frank, in a timeslot that had been vacant since the departure of entertainment reporter Sam Rubin in 2003. Also in 2008, Brian Whitman unexpectedly left the station in March. Tim Conway, Jr. ended up hosting the evening show alone. Arsenio Hall was a semi-regular guest host with Tim on the Tim Conway Jr. show on Wednesday nights in 2008–09.
KLSX was the last station to use the Free FM branding, having abandoned the moniker in early October 2008, signaling the official desertion of the brand nationally by CBS Radio. The program director for KLSX at this time was Jack Silver. The assistant program director and creative voice of the station was Rich Boerner, who also programmed the weekend music formats.
Top 40In early 2009, speculation arose on whether KLSX would be switching formats. On February 17, information started to emerge that KLSX was to drop hot talk on February 20 and flip to a top 40 format aimed at younger listeners, taking the "AMP" format that was created by KROQ-FM program director Kevin Weatherly and APD John Michael on KCBS-HD2.
The station's main line up of The Adam Carolla Show, Frosty, Heidi & Frank, Danny Bonaduce (in a solo spot known as Broadcasting Bonaduce), The Tom Leykis Show, The Tim Conway Jr. Show and The John and Jeff Show were all given advance notice of the format shift and afforded the opportunity to host final shows to explain the situation and say their goodbyes. "97.1 FM Talk" ended on February 20 at 5 p.m. (Pacific time), giving longtime radio veteran Tom Leykis the final sign-off and the opportunity to "blow up" the station (in reference to a catchphrase used by the show's callers, "Blow me up, Tom!").
"AMP Radio" then launched with Paranoid by Kanye West (which coincidentally was also playing on its new rival KIIS-FM at the same time), beginning a commercial-free block of 10,000 songs, similar to the debuts of the current KDAY in 2004 and, in 1989, KQLZ (Pirate Radio). The launch of "AMP" marked the first top 40 radio battle in Los Angeles since KPWR switched to a hip hop-heavy rhythmic contemporary format in 1994. On June 30, 2009, the station changed its callsign to KAMP to go with the current format, and changed again on July 7, 2009 to KAMP-FM in order to avoid confusion with KAMP (AM), an unlicensed student-run radio station at the University of Arizona.
On January 4, 2010, KAMP rounded out their on-air lineup, which featured Carson Daly in mornings, Chris Booker middays, Ted Stryker afternoons, and Casey McCabe at night. CBS Radio would later expand the "AMP Radio" brand to Detroit (WDZH), Boston (WODS), Orlando (WQMP), New York City (WNYL), Philadelphia (WTDY-FM), and Dallas (KVIL). As of 2019, only the Boston outlet remains as the rest flipped to different formats, although the Philadelphia outlet had since returned to the top 40 format under a different moniker.
On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom. The merger was approved on November 9, 2017, and was consummated on November 17.
On July 28, 2017, Carson Daly left the station. The morning drive timeslot remained open until February 2018, when the station introduced a new morning show hosted by former WBMP New York morning host Edgar "Shoboy" Sotelo, former WWWQ Atlanta morning show co-host and comedian Brian Moote, and Billboard news correspondent Chelsea Briggs. Moote left the station in July 2019, while Sotelo left in October 2019. The departures would result in the on-air lineup being revised, making Booker move from afternoons to mornings, and adding former KPWR morning co-host Krystal Bianca to mornings, Christen Limon to middays, and Yesi Ortiz to afternoons, while McCabe remains as night host. Booker left the station on April 3, 2020.
On March 30, 2020, KAMP-FM dropped "Radio" from their moniker and re-branded as "97.1 AMP".
HD RadioKAMP-FM broadcasts in HD Radio with three digital subchannels.
History of KAMP-HD2On January 8, 2018, Entercom entered a deal to bring the New York City-based dance/EDM webcast Pulse 87 to the Los Angeles airwaves as a HD2 subchannel of KAMP-FM, billing it as "Pulse 97.1 HD2". The subchannel replaced the simulcast of KNX, which moved over to the HD2 subchannel of KCBS-FM.
On August 31, 2018, KAMP-HD2 dropped Pulse 87 to make room for the newly launched "Out Now Radio", an talk/EDM format targeted to the LGBTQ community. Many of the hosts on Out Now Radio were based at Entercom's Los Angeles studios. On November 1, 2018, Out Now Radio rebranded as "Channel Q".